A Most Ferocious Dog

A Most Ferocious Dog - Blog: Civil Processing & Legal Serving | Same Day Process Service - image1

I received a subpoena for a person living in Virginia's boondocks.  The trip was a long winding drive through the mountains where I eventually found the house, set back in the trees, 150 yards from the road.  There was a creek and small wood bridge between me and the windowless, garage side of the house.

 

I crossed the rickety bridge, and a large dog that resembled Cujo (the dog in the 1983 horror film) started barking from the second-floor deck that ran along the left side of the house. When I stopped the car, he ran down the stairs and charged my car, barking ferociously.  

I sat in my car, honking my horn, hoping someone was home, but no one came out.  Fortunately, I had a Virginia subpoena that could be posted on the front door of the residence.  Unfortunately, Cujo had his two paws on my window, barking, and growling, challenging me to get out or go away.

Other than this angry, snarling dog, two major issues faced me: This job was from a new client, who I wanted to impress - and - the hearing was in a few days.

But the overriding issue was - I didn't want to make another 4-hour roundtrip and contend with this long winding road a second time when all I had to do was post this subpoena on the front door that was only 100 feet away.

I looked at the angry beast that was still clawing my window, and thought, "What if it is not an attack dog, what if he's just trained to look ferocious and scare people away?"

I did have two previous experiences with dogs that made me wary.  The first was a house set about 100 yards back on a dirt road, with a 4-foot chain-link fence at the front of the property by the street.  The gate was unlocked, so I entered and started walking toward the house, which had thick bushes running the length of the front porch.  I got halfway up the dirt road when I heard a deep growling sound.  I stopped and saw a Great Dane's head pop up from behind a bush on the left corner of the house. Two seconds later, another Great Dane's head appeared.  "Oh, crap!" 

A Most Ferocious Dog - Blog: Civil Processing & Legal Serving | Same Day Process Service - image2


Together they leaped over the bushes, and suddenly I was in a race for my life as I turned and ran for the fence. Our race to the chain-link barrier was almost a tie, but I was a split second ahead of them and barrel-rolled over the fence as they hit it full force.   The great escape!

The second frightening event was at a long brick ranch house.  The driveway sat to the left side and set several feet below the house.  The front door was around the corner of the far end of the house.   I thought it was strange that the entrance was so far from their driveway.   I climbed the stairs and made the long walk to the end of the house and turned left to the front door.  

Laying in front of the door 30 feet away was a Doberman Pinscher that jumped up and ran toward me barking.  I took off, doubting that I could outrun this dog because of the distance between me and my car.  I leaped over the stairs to the driveway, ran around the car, and managed to get into my front seat.

A Most Ferocious Dog - Blog: Civil Processing & Legal Serving | Same Day Process Service - image3


Frantically I tried to close my door, but my arm was at an odd angle, and, as I yanked on the handle, my left arm popped out of joint, falling painfully limp at my side.

The Doberman was there, his front paws firmly planted on my hip and his cold wet nose touching my nose, saliva (his) dripping on my shirt, as we stared into each other's eyes.   I can only imagine the look on my face as we both seemed frozen in time, nose to nose.

A few seconds later, a man's voice called from the top of the stairs, and the Doberman retreated to his master's side.   I managed to work my shoulder back in place as the man came down to my car with his dog and accepted the subpoena.  I asked him about my "nose to nose" experience with his dog; he said, "I trained him not to bite, just to go nose to nose."  My adrenalin spent; I decided to call it a night.

Now, I'm face to face with Cujo, who wants to kill me - but did he really?   Maybe he just wanted to frighten me?  If so, he succeeded.  What if scaring me is all he wanted to do?  I was going to test this possibility.  Maybe he didn't want to eat my face.

I opened my door a few inches, and, thankfully, he took a step back, but continued with his fierce barking and baring his teeth.  I opened my door a little further, and he started toward me, then abruptly stopped and took a few steps back.  I slowly stood up, and he backed up a few more steps.  It appeared that he wouldn't attack if I faced him, and that proved right.

His ferocity was constant, but with every tentative step I took toward him, he backed up an equal distance, still wanting to kill me.  

When we got closer to the front door of the residence, he suddenly turned and ran up the stairs to the 2nd-floor deck, but continued his barking.  As I finished taping the subpoena to the front door, I realized that Cujo was no longer barking. I glanced over my shoulder, and he had silently snuck down the stairs and was charging at my back. I immediately spun around and spread out my arms and shouted, "No!"  He slid to within a few feet of me and then backed up and resumed his vicious barking.

Had I not turned to see him, he could have severely injured or killed me.

Once again, we resumed our familiar two-step dance, him, wanting to eat me, and me, not wanting to be eaten, all the way to my car.  I escaped unscathed, and that was the last time I ever challenged a dog. 

Tony Snesko, CEO
Same Day Process

Serving Barack Obama: A Private Citizen

When Barack Obama was President, he had to be served legal documents by certified mail.  When he left office, he moved into this beautiful 8,000 square foot brick home on Belmont Street, overlooking Rock Creek Park. Since he was no longer...

5 Tips For Being a Better Process Server

Just like people, not every process service is the same. Some people are harder to hand papers off to than others. Many defendants believe that avoiding a process server means their legal troubles go away (this is false). This myth leads some people...

A Story of Patience and Persistence

The doctor we were trying to serve had been an enigma for over a month. Our servers made several unsuccessful attempts to serve him at his office in White Plains, MD. His door was always locked and no sound heard from within. The receptionist in the...

How to Become a Successful Mobile Notary

Helping people is a great way to make a living. Mobile notaries have the chance to meet new people they will help daily. If you need a career that constantly changes pace so you won’t get bored, being a mobile notary may be for...

The Life of a Process Server

Court proceedings move forward every day. Similarly, the legal system needs to notify people of a requirement to appear in court or to take note of legal action taking place. The people who make contact with the persons of interest are process...

How to Avoid Breaking the Law as a Process Server

Process servers have a tough job. They are responsible for delivering court documents to people. Many people being served have misconceptions that challenge the delivery process. Knowing the rules based on local and state laws is important for...

Can I Avoid Being Served?

If you know you will be sued, do yourself a favor and DO NOT try to avoid the server. Many people think it’s a good idea - if they avoid the server, then they can prevent the case from moving forward. In reality, when a person physically...

The Must-Know Rules for Serving Processes on Holidays

The task of serving process involves many considerations that most people don’t consider. A server must be fair, firm, and respectful. They must think of their own safety while also making the individual they serve to feel calm. To effectively...

How to Serve Processes to Military Members

Members of the United States military often put their lives on the line to defend their country and its assets. Sometimes the courts will need to provide written documents to these active duty individuals for several reasons including a summons to...

Prepare for Process Serving Wearing a Body Camera

  A process server’s job is not easy. Servers deliver a summons to many folks who would prefer not to receive the court documents. As with most sectors, advances in technology have been and will continue to disrupt the process...

The Most Common Types of Affidavits

An Affidavit is a written testimony given under oath. Affidavits are only valid when given freely, without any coercion. To provide a legal affidavit, an individual needs to be of sound mind (lucid) and typical of legal age (over 18).   The...

Tips for Staying Safe While Process Serving

Process serving is a necessary role that helps the legal system running efficiently. As beneficial as this role is, it also involves some inherent safety risks. There are safety concerns with many jobs, but a process server can interact with a...

Getting The Most Out Of Your Process Server

Many firms use process servers to deliver legal notices. When they are contracting with a private process server, there are some things that can make the whole process more efficient. No matter how busy a process server is, there are still ways to...
Page: 12345 - All